Eight Star Riders Set For NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout at Sonoma Raceway
The eight-bike field is set for the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout are set, with the standouts in the first callout specialty for the two-wheeled category set to grab the spotlight as part of this weekend’s 35th annual Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals at picturesque Sonoma Raceway.
The event is the final race in the NHRA’s famed three-race Western Swing and the eight riders in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout are determined to put on a show. Gaige Herrera earned the top seed, giving him the first pick in the specialty race, while the riders seeded second through eighth are Hector Arana Jr., multi-time world champ Eddie Krawiec, reigning world champ Matt Smith, Steve Johnson, Angie Smith, rookie Chase Van Sant and Marc Ingwersen.
It’s an impressive lineup in the unique specialty event, which starts with the actual callout on Friday at 7:45 p.m. PT on stage on the starting line. Herrera will select his first-round opponent, getting his pick of seven other rider. If Arana Jr. isn’t called out, he will get the next pick, followed by Krawiec until all first-round matchups are set.
The winning rider who makes the quickest run in the opening round will also get a chance to select their semifinal opponent, with a bonus purse and major bragging rights on the line in the finals.
The first round of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout takes place at 12:30 p.m. PT, with the semifinals at 2:15 p.m. and the finals at 3:40 p.m. A special broadcast highlighting the specialty race will take place at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
Herrera, who is also the points leader on the strength of five wins in seven PSM race, is looking forward to the specialty race as he gears up for a big weekend. The standout also won the first two races in the NHRA’s Western Swing, giving him the chance to become the first rider in Pro Stock Motorcycle history to sweep the three races. His first focus, though, is trying to come up with a win in the bonus race on Saturday on his Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki.
“It’s going to be a busy weekend in Sonoma, for sure,” Herrera said. “Sonoma is always a fast track and it’s going to be good. I’m excited and the whole class is tightening up. Everyone is stepping it up and it’s good for the class, and I’m really excited to be part of and race in the callout.”
One rider who will get called out in the opening round is A. Smith, but she’s just as eager to participate on her Denso Auto Parts Buell, especially with Pro Stock Motorcycle getting a major spotlight with the specialty race.
“I wish I could have been a little higher in the Callout, but at the end of the day, we’ve got all to race for it anyway,” Smith said. “I feel like we’ll all be ready. You never know how it’s going to go, but I feel like Vance & Hines is going to call out the (Matt Smith Racing) team. I think it brings excitement and emphasis to our class, so it’s going to be cool and really interesting. You will definitely see how much horsepower everyone has.”
Full schedule for the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout (ET):
Friday, July 28
3:00 PM– NHRA All-Star Pro Stock Motorcycle Call Out Autograph Session, near the NHRA Nitro Alley Stage.
7:45 PM – NHRA All-Star Pro Stock Motorcycle Call Out selections on the starting line.
Saturday, July 29
12:30 PM – NHRA All-Star Pro Stock Motorcycle Callout opening round
2:15 PM- NHRA All-Star Pro Stock Motorcycle Callout semifinals
3:40 PM – NHRA All-Star Pro Stock Motorcycle Callout finals
2023 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout Final Standings
1. Gaige Herrera
2. Hector Arana Jr.
3. Eddie Krawiec
4. Matt Smith
5. Steve Johnson
6. Angie Smith
7. Chase Van Sant
8. Mark Ingwersen
(Note: Herrera will get the first selection for the opening round, followed by the next-highest seeded driver until matchups are set.)
Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Bob Tasca III (Funny Car) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the 2022 event, and this year’s race will be broadcast on both FOX and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations coverage starting at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday, July 30 on FOX. It is the 12th race of the 2023 season and a packed weekend also includes qualifying under the lights on Friday, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge bonus race in the nitro classes on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:30 and 7 p.m. PT on Friday, July 28 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 29 at 12:40 and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday, July 30. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FOX at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday.